John hangs up his hat after 65 years on the job
ROBERT Menzies was Prime Minister and the country was on the verge of the Vietnam War when 15-year-old John Daley worked his first day at what was then the Glynns homewares store in Woodlark St, Lismore.
Sixty five years later and Mr Daley has finally made the decision to step out from behind the register, signing off on his final day yesterday.
It was a bittersweet last day for Mr Daley, who said he wasn't sure how he felt about stepping into the unknown world of retirement.
He said the idea was first planted in his mind eight years ago when his wife Noeleen retired.
"I feel strange," he said.
"It's a big change. I'm very lazy so I'm sure I'll fit into retirement easy."
A lot has changed in the six-and-a-half decades Mr Daley has worked in homewares in Lismore.
When he began, television was still a new thing and dozens of bikes lined the Lismore "block" as the majority of workers rode into town.
A pair of sheets would have cost you 3 pounds, or $6. Now, $100 is a reasonable average.
The business itself began as Glynns in Woodlark St before moving and being renamed McLeans in the Strand Arcade.
In 1989, Mr Daley decided it was time to branch out on his own and started up Daleys Homeware Specialists & Monogramming in Woodlark St.
It was a big decision, with loan interest set at 17%, but Mr Daley said he was proud to take the risk.
Second to branching out on his own, Mr Daley said floods were an interesting part of the business' history.
In the 1974 flood, he spent two days in the Strand Arcade store waiting until the water receded to start the clean-up.
Mr Daley said he recognised most of the faces walking past his shop and joked Woodlark St would need a new mayor.
"The friendship around the block has always been very strong," he said.
"For years, the retailers supported everyone, particularly when it was flood time."
In retirement, Mr Daley said he would be looking forward to spending more time in the garden, "annoying them" at the Lismore Golf Club and doing a bit of travel around the country.
The business will stay in the family with cousin Matthew Healy taking over.